Section 224 of the funding bill makes the U.S. government a co-conspirator in the criminal scheme between the smuggler and the parent/guardian paying to have an "unaccompanied" minor brought illegally to the U.S.
This bill follows the pattern of nearly every other congressional "deal" on immigration: protections for illegal migrants first, promises of enforcement to come later, and no immigration relief for Americans.
While most of the focus was on the fate of the Wall (or maybe the Fence), and the lack of another government shutdown, two other immigration programs were impacted by the fine print in the just-passed spending bill.
If we fingerprinted and photographed all minors who were apprehended by the Border Patrol, the U.S. government would be able to quickly identify any child who had been "recycled", and would also be better able to track any child who was discovered to have been trafficked in the United States.
The text of the funding bill was released last night/this morning, and lawmakers are expected to vote on the 1,169-page measure as early as this evening. The bill is disappointing in many respects, but if it had been as advertised earlier, it might have been tolerable.
By expanding ATD programs and slashing detention — which is an actual deterrent for border-crossers — this bill will only encourage far more aliens to show up to cross our border and make bogus credible-fear claims. Perhaps that's the point.